Wednesday, February 8

Upper Nuimi District Tribunal fines forest destroyers

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By: HarunaKuyateh

As part of the effort of protecting and preserving forest cover, the Upper Nuimi District Tribunal on Thursday presided over 4 cases of illegal logging at Sitanunku and Nbantakiling forests. Four people from Sitanunku and 1 from Nemakunku were fined each D23,000 for the illegal cutting of 19 palm rum trees at Sitanunku forest, alkalo Samba Ndow of Mbantakiling D40,000 and Alagie Kambia D25,000 were fined for illegal cutting of mahogany trees without permits or authorisation from Regional Forestry Office in Kerewan North Bank Region. The two chainsaw operator’s from Aljamdu and Kerr Alagie Yoro were fined D12,000 each, in default they will be imprisoned for one month each.

However, all the accused pleaded guilty to wrongfully cutting down trees without due process of obtaining forest licenses.

Delivering the verdict, Chief Momodou Chatty Cham who doubles as President of the tribunal reiterated the need for people to follow the due process of acquiring forest licenses or permits from the Department of Forestry and comply with the number of trees to cut down. He said failure to follow and respect the stipulated number applied by the Department of Forestry, the tribunal is mandated to arraign the suspect before the tribunal as outlined in the Forest Act.

Alasan Badgie Administrative Circle Head of Juffureh Forestry Office described the important role district tribunal play in the enforcement of the Forest Act. He said the protection and preservation of forest cover call for concerted efforts and not that anyone found wanting, due process of the law will be applied.

In summary, the following people were arraigned before the district tribunal on December 1st at Jurunku, LaminJabbie, Baba Jabbie, Edward Jammeh, and Alagie Jammeh Sitanunku and Alagie Ceesay of Nema Kunku and they were fined D23,000 each for illegal felling of 19 pam rum trees at Sitanunku and Toubakolong Forest. Whilst the Alkalo Samba Ndow of Mbantakiling was fined D40,000 and Alagie Kambia of Aljamdu D25,000 for felling down mahogany trees at Nbanta forest. The tribunal also fined two chain operators, Ebrima Sowe Aljamdu and Ousman Sowe of Kerr Alagie Yoro each D12,000 for illegal activities at Nbanta Forest